Dr. Verónika Ceballos Núñez

Dr. Verónika Ceballos Núñez

Research Fellow

iDiv Flex Pool
iDiv BioDivForschg Lpz
Puschstraße 4, Room B.03.11
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97 - 33108

Abstract

I am a biologist seeking to enhance my holistic understanding of living systems, particularly their response to environmental change.


During my bachelor studies in Colombia I studied nature at different scales, and discovered computational biology as a powerful tool to do so. Thus, I joined the Systems Biology major during my master studies at the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg. For my master thesis I developed a signaling network model to portray the plants metabolic response to herbivory.


I continued strengthening my modeling skills during my doctoral studies at the MPI-Biogeochemistry. I developed a new mathematical framework based on the synthesis of carbon allocation models in vegetation, which is part of the Python 3 package bgc-md.


Currently I am working on a model inter-comparison project (within the SimNet network) designed to understand how biodiversity changes affect biodiversity-ecosystem functioning.

Professional career

  • since 03/2021
    Postdoctoral researcher in the group "Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity" lead by Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth and Prof. Dr. Alexandra Weigelt at the Institute of Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Universität Leipzig.
  • 01/2019 - 08/2019
    Postdoctoral researcher in the group "Theoretical Ecosystem Ecology" lead by Dr. Carlos A. Sierra, in the Department of Biogeochemical Processes. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany.
  • 09/2016 - 12/2016
    Research stay in the group "Terrestrial Ecosystems and Global Change" lead by Prof. Dr. Andrew Richardson. Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
  • 01/2015 - 12/2018
    Doctoral researcher in the group "Theoretical Ecosystem Ecology" lead by Dr. Carlos A. Sierra, in the Department of Biogeochemical Processes. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany. My thesis “Nonlinearities in Carbon Allocation and Vegetation Functioning” obtained the distinction of magna cum laude.

Education

  • 10/2013 - 12/2013
    Visitor student in the group "Mathematical Modeling and Systems Biology" lead by Prof. Dr. Zoran Nikoloski in the Max Planck- Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam, Germany
  • 10/2012 - 10/2014
    Master of Science (MSc). Molecular Biosciences, Major: Systems Biology. Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany.
  • 10/2012 - 11/2012
    Course: In Silico Methods in Biochemistry, in the group from Prof. Dr. Ursula Kummer at the department of Modeling of Biological Processes, Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany.
  • 02/2006 - 11/2011
    Bachelor in Biology. Department of Biology. Faculty of Natural and Exact Sciences. Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

I am a biologist that uses mathematical modeling to explore the world where we live. My main goal is to use Ecological Modeling to enhance my understanding of vegetation and its strategies to adapt to a changing environment.


Currently I am part of the SimNet modeling network, which is a collaborative group of community modelers funded by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). I am working on a model inter-comparison project designed to understand how biodiversity changes alter the biotic context of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. This interdisciplinary project consists of a synthesis of models, experiments, and observation. In regards to the latter, we plan to use the Forest Inventory Assessment and FunDivEurope databases controlling for successional stage; The Earth System Science Datacube will be used to control for environmental context (M. Mahecha); we will consult TRY for relevant traits (J. Kattge).